September 16, 2019

Washington Redskins hire Jay Gruden as head coach

“I don’t know what happened last year. I don’t care about what happened last year.” — Redskins new head coach Jay Gruden

The Washington Redskins announced hiring Jay Gruden as head coach at a press conference Thursday at Redskins Park.

Excluding interim coaches, Gruden, 46, becomes the team’s youngest head coaching hire since hiring eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs at 40 years of age in 1981. He becomes the first Redskins coach hired directly from an offensive coordinator role on another team since Norv Turner in 1994.

Gruden spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. In his tenure in Cincinnati from 2011-13, the Bengals averaged 10 wins a season, making three consecutive playoff appearances and earning an AFC North championship in 2013. Members of the Bengals’ offense accounted for seven Pro Bowl selections in his three seasons in Cincinnati.

Calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime deal,” Gruden expressed the desire to instill confidence and pride among the players as a primary goal once he gets started with the team. He indicated that no decisions have been made yet regarding his coaching staff, including dismissing a report that TE coach Sean McVey had been promoted to offensive coordinator.

Gruden said he hated coaching against a 3-4 defense and would lean toward keeping the 3-4 with the Redskins, noting that the personnel was tailored to that alignment at this time, but he did note problems “on the back end,” referring to the Redskins troubles in the defensive secondary this past season.

Asked about repairing the organization’s relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III, Gruden said, “I don’t know what happened last year. I don’t care about what happened last year.” Gruden noted many positive attributes about Griffin’s game, but also said he would demand much from his quarterback, including taking responsibility for mistakes and being a good leader.

General Manager Bruce Allen confirmed that Gruden signed a five-year contract.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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